TRUE LIFE

Posted: June 20, 2012 in Books, Christianity, Education, Family, History, Life, Lifestyle, News, Parenting, Quotes, Uncategorized

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

– 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV

It is the second half of the last sentence of verse 19 of 1 Timothy 6:17-19 that always intrigues me when I read and reflect upon this verse, “so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.’ Immediately your mind has to grapple and wrestle with contemplating what the Apostle Paul meant when he shared this with his protegé Timothy in sharing the gospel message and principles of Christian living with, as he stated, ‘those who are rich in this present world.’ When you align what is written here, in Paul’s admonition to Timothy, to what Jesus declared in Luke’s gospel that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions, then you begin to discern that the fullness of life Christ came for me to have is not about material wealth. It may include it, but it may not be the focal point of what Jesus meant when He made that declaration in the gospel of John chapter 10. When you also consider the conversation Jesus had with the rich young ruler, Jesus mentions to the rich young ruler that if he sold all he had and give to the poor he would then have treasure in heaven. The Apostle Paul mentions this to Timothy to share with those who are rich in this present world as a way to get them thinking about living life with eternity in mind.

You begin to see the consistency of scripture that reinforces Jesus’ teaching on the deceitfulness of riches that becomes a distraction to living a lifestyle congruent with scripture and positions us to experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have. Jesus taught that the worries of life, pleasure and the deceitfulness of riches choked out the seed planted among thorns and kept the heart (soil) from maturing and being fruitful. Wealth and the desire for it can distract us from becoming mature in our faith to live a life that allows us to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven, so when we depart and transition into eternity we will have suffered twice in not investing in our future as a member of God’s kingdom as Paul admonished Timothy to address with those who are rich about the coming age and establishing a foundation for it. It only becomes that much more trying and challenging for those among us who are not rich when you see so many around you who are wealthy, or well off, and we are struggling to make ends meet. This is another aspect of the deceitfulness of riches, because it stirs up discontentment in the sincere believer and inhibits them from striving fully to live with their heart, mind and soul fully committed to Christ because of the distraction of the riches of this world. The sincere believer may lose sight of the true life the Apostle Paul addresses Timothy about to share with those who are rich in this present world.

Remaining faithful in prayer to God and focused obedience to His word, learning to be content whatever the circumstances and trusting what the Apostle Paul mentioned about God richly providing everything we need for our enjoyment will empower us to overcome the trap of the worries of life, pleasure and the deceitfulness of riches. Applying the principles of doing good and being rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share, is how we store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. A balanced Christian lifestyle embodies self-actualization, becoming all that God has called us to Christ to become, while also being a blessing and benefit to others along the way to eternity!

May God bless you and help you to become mature and fruitful in your faith walk with Christ doing good, being rich in good deeds, generous and willing to share so you may experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

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